The pitfalls of creating estimates yourself

Estimating is not only one of the most important jobs in construction, but it’s also one of the toughest. Profits can be made on how accurate your estimates are, and likewise, money can also be lost if they don’t match up to your final project costs closely enough. Quite honestly, there are so many drawbacks to creating estimates yourself.

So, how accurate do you think your estimates are? Just one or two minor errors could throw your estimates completely off course… This could then mean that you’ll lose a job because the estimate is too high. Or, might win it because you priced it too low!

With so many variables to account for, producing estimates is a tricky task, and needs to be done properly. There are many pitfalls of creating estimates yourself – the most common ones are detailed below:


Making uneducated guesses

It’s a bad idea to gamble on your quotes by making uneducated guesses when estimating. Tracking the resource costs of your projects is essential to ensuring your estimates are as accurate as possible.

Costs for labour, materials, and equipment should be based on the most current data available. If you guess at these costs, you might end up suddenly needing to subcontract additional work or hire extra plant. This could quickly eat-up your profits or wipe them out completely.


Using out of date material prices

Building materials account for a big portion of any estimate, and they are also a cost which is notoriously hard to estimate accurately. The prices of materials can change dramatically from the time you begin your estimate to when construction starts. When the demand for materials is high, this impacts prices, which makes is tricky to get estimates right.


Underestimating the strain of growing your business

If you’re growing your business then you’ll know how hard it is to manage the increased workload. Coping with the extra work, whilst creating estimates yourself has the potential to be overwhelming. Contacting subcontractors and employees is very labour-intensive – sending information, attachments, and measurements to several different people, then probably needing to follow-up with extra information.


Taking shortcuts

As you don’t get paid for estimating, you probably save the task for out of hours periods, such as evenings or weekends. Because of this, the temptation is there to take shortcuts to speed up the process – perhaps not getting competitive quotes, or getting single quotes for every item.

If you outsource your estimating to a dedicated estimating service, they’ll do the legwork for you, saving you both time and headspace. Using HBXL’s Estimating Service, you will receive an estimate calculated with up-to-date prices, giving you a high level of accuracy.


Your competitors getting the advantage

Whether you like it or not, the building firm who gets their quote submitted first often has an advantage. Everyone else afterwards feels they must justify why their quote is more or less expensive than the first one. Our Estimating Service provides you with all the information you need, not only within a quick timeframe, but also with maximum attention to detail.

Do these pitfalls sound all too familiar? Well, you’re not alone! Too many builders are up until the small hours working their way through estimates, but even then having very little confidence in the end result. And if estimates aren’t being produced in the evenings, then it’s on the weekends, when there are usually much better things to do!



The good news is there’s a way you can have better and more accurate estimates. An accurate estimating service is worth its weight in gold, so give HBXL a try today!

You’re under no commitment to go ahead when you call, so why not give speak to one of our team today on 0117 916 7894. Or if you’re ready, you can upload your full set of plans to our plans uploader on the website. We look forward to helping you to get back to doing what you do best!